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  1. #1
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    Choosing a racquet string and tension.

    Alright, this is just a little education on some of the strings and how to decide on tension.

    There are so many strings out there and it is quite tough deciding on what to use. I hope this will help.

    String gauge: 16 gauge, 17 gauge, and 18 gauge. The lower the number, the thicker the string. If you want more topspin, go with the thinner 17 or 18 gauge string. If you break strings a lot, go with the lower 16 gauge, or go with a more durable string like polyester or kevlar in a 17 or 18 gauge. The 17 and 18 gauge strings will open up the string bed, but will break quicker.

    Durability: If you want true durability, use kevlar or polyester as your mains (the up and down strings) and a softer string in the cross strings. This has to be strung as a two piece string job. There are some more arm friendly strings out there that have a little durability, but nothing like the polyester or kevlar strings.

    Arm friendly strings: Gut, Gamma Live Wire, Gamma TNT, Wilson NXT, and Wilson Sensation are all very soft and easy on the arm. However, they break quickly and you must pre-stretch them or double pull them when stringing so that they are stretched a bit before locking them in. They will lose tension and be like a trampoline if you don't do that. Great strings for people with arm problems.

    Playability strings: Gut, Gamma Live Wire, and Wilson NXT are my choices for ultimate playable strings. I recommend stringing these strings in the upper recommended tension range of your racquet. Don't worry, they are soft and have tons of resilience. They really will put a bit of power into the ball. Especially gut.

    Tension: Again, go with a higher tension for more control and a lower tension for more power. I always recommend going with the higher tension and using a lively string to give you the extra "pop" on the ball. Keep the racquet within the recommended stringing range or a couple of pounds above or below. The manufacturers have experimented with all of this and know where the racquet performs its best.

    Hopefully this will help a little. I have tried everything out there in terms of strings. I've had numerous sponsorships with string manufacturers (Babolat mainly) and I've had the best and worst of luck with them all. I must say that I have been most impressed with Wilson strings. They really make a tremendously playable string. I used to go through 2-3 racquets every day until I began stringing with Kevlar and then polyester. Synthetic gut lasts me an average of 30 minutes to an hour. I therefore use an ultra playable string on my crosses and a polyester for my main strings. I pop strings about every other day now. No biggie. I hope this gives a little insight on the subject.

  2. #2
    What do you think of those hexagonal strings that are supposed to produce even more top spin?

  3. #3
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    Hey! Tennisking! Welcome back! I thought you and Coach went on a cruise.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beer Belly View Post
    What do you think of those hexagonal strings that are supposed to produce even more top spin?
    I have hexagonal strings and don't like them. However, I can't compare them to other Luxilon Bangers; because I have never used anything other than the hexagonal shape. I think I simply don't like polyester strings.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    Hey! Tennisking! Welcome back! I thought you and Coach went on a cruise.




    I have hexagonal strings and don't like them. However, I can't compare them to other Luxilon Bangers; because I have never used anything other than the hexagonal shape. I think I simply don't like polyester strings.
    Hey LT. Yeah, I know. I have been looking for a new coaching gig and have been immersed in it. I am not a huge believer in the hexagonal strings. I am sure they work fine, but a thinner gauge should suffice and if you want more topspin, it is usually the amount of "brush up" on the ball that one puts on it. I really recommend the 18 gauge Babolat Pro Hurricane mixed with a good cross string. If you are a serious player, a string should not be left in your racquet for too long. I recommend restringing once a month for non stringbreakers. That is not too much to ask for someone who wants top performance out of their game. Back when I was traveling and playing tournaments, I was literally going through two to three racquets a day. I started using kevlar both ways just to stop string breakage, but my arm started singing the blues after about two months. I had to give that up. I tried the Gamma Ruff and also the Kevlar Gear which is shaped like a star. That stuff was like hitting with barbed wire in your racquet. It really did work for extreme topspin, but anything that has a raised surface is going to "saw" through itself. If it digs into the ball, it will dig into itself. So expect some quicker string breakage out of the strings that have raised edges.

  5. #5
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    I'm glad to hear you're looking for a career in tennis coaching. You've dedicated your life to your passion; it just wouldn't seem right to abandon it now. You'll thank yourself later when you look forward to waking up for work.

    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    Synthetic gut lasts me an average of 30 minutes to an hour. I therefore use an ultra playable string on my crosses and a polyester for my main strings. I pop strings about every other day now. No biggie. I hope this gives a little insight on the subject.
    30 Minutes! What gauge and tension are you talking about? I use 16g head control strings for the whole racquet strung at 60 lbs. I absolutely love the feel I get with it. My racquet seems like an extension of my hand with synthetic gut, whereas polyester even in just the crosses feels like I'm hitting with a 10 foot pole!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    I'm glad to hear you're looking for a career in tennis coaching. You've dedicated your life to your passion; it just wouldn't seem right to abandon it now. You'll thank yourself later when you look forward to waking up for work.



    30 Minutes! What gauge and tension are you talking about? I use 16g head control strings for the whole racquet strung at 60 lbs. I absolutely love the feel I get with it. My racquet seems like an extension of my hand with synthetic gut, whereas polyester even in just the crosses feels like I'm hitting with a 10 foot pole!
    Oh yes. I used to go through Gosen OG Sheep Micro Jim Courier in the 16 gauge in thirty minutes. Pro Blend or Hammerlast would last me 2 hours in the 17 gauge form. I had a sponsorship going with Gosen and then Alpha back in the 90's and I just ate through their strings like a white shark in a seal colony. The Babolat actually improved my thoughts on the polyester, but it needs to be in the 18 gauge form preferably. It actually feels pretty good in 18 gauge. The most playable strings I know besides gut strings are the Wilson NXT and the Technifibre NRG. Try one of those just once and see what you think. You need to string them about 3-5 pounds tighter than your normal synthetic gut because they really transfer energy back into the ball. Very lively. Therefore, string them a little tighter for more control.

  7. #7
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    Wow, you must really hit with some racquet head acceleration and topspin (I suppose all pros do). 16g synthetic lasts me atleast 24 hours of play.

    I'm always up for trying something new. Next time I'll string with Wilson NXT 17g at about 64 lbs.

  8. #8
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    I've been using 16 gauge poly and it doesn't break or lose tension really fast like all the syn guts I tried before it, but if I mishit anything it's like I'm hitting a wall with a baseball bat. Do you guys thing going to a 17 gauge would help?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by clock- View Post
    I've been using 16 gauge poly and it doesn't break or lose tension really fast like all the syn guts I tried before it, but if I mishit anything it's like I'm hitting a wall with a baseball bat. Do you guys thing going to a 17 gauge would help?
    i bet you'd like it more. much more bite. heck, go to 18g

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by clock- View Post
    I've been using 16 gauge poly and it doesn't break or lose tension really fast like all the syn guts I tried before it, but if I mishit anything it's like I'm hitting a wall with a baseball bat. Do you guys thing going to a 17 gauge would help?
    It won't help if you use the polyester. The string is just very, very stiff. If you need the polyester due to string breakage, I would two piece string the racquet with a softer cross string. Go to the 18 gauge polyester and a 16 or 17 gauge synthetic cross string of your choice. It should soften the racquet up a bit.

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